I’m not sure if it’s partially the isolation’s fault, but April felt like the month that would never end. I think I watched more new shows this month than any other, and I’m happy to say, they’re all winners! Funnily enough, two of the shows starred Reese Witherspoon, so she’s clearly is the MVP of my quarantine playlist.
Let me know if you’ve watched any of these shows, or which ones you’re planning on checking out next.
Little Fires Everywhere (Hulu)
This drama miniseries, based on a 2017 novel, stars Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington as two mothers from very different backgrounds and their twisted power plays against one another. Set in the 90s with the backdrop of an Ohioan suburb, the series explores race, privilege, and a whole slew of socioeconomic aspects of the time – some still relevant today.
It’s heavy in the drama, leaning slightly towards soap-territory at times, but the series as a whole is sensational. I will say, however, I was unimpressed with the final episode, as I felt there were moments a little too out of touch and the story wasn’t properly wrapped up. Here’s hoping for a season two!
The Morning Show (Apple TV+)
Starring Jennifer Aniston, Steve Carell, and Reese Witherspoon, The Morning Show follows a news program fresh on the heels of its lead anchor (Carell) being axed for sexual misconduct. His co-anchor (Aniston), begins to worry about her own job security and in an effort to shake things up, announces a firey, inexperienced journalist as her partner.
The series is inspired by the 2013 book by Brian Stelter, though it clearly pulls from the events that took place with Matt Lauer and The Today Show. I really enjoyed how the show includes real events – discussing the California wildfires, Harvey Weinstein, and the Las Vegas shooting. It grounds the show in reality and gives the audience a familiar setting to associate these characters with their real-life counterparts.
Killing Eve (Hulu)
The BBC comedy drama has long been praised by critics and award shows alike, so it’s no surprise that I’ve been sucked into it. The spy thriller follows British agent Eve (Sandra Oh), who is pulled into an assignment to track an international assassin known as Villanelle (Jodie Comer). The two women quickly form an unexpected fascination with one another that spells trouble for their respective careers.
I’ve almost wrapped up season one of the show and I absolutely love all the witty comedy that’s included in this otherwise serious drama. A lot of that is owed to season one showrunner and head-writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge, who I’ve loved ever since binging her series Fleabag. It’s certainly a great mix of genres, led by two great female leads.
This miniseries actually premiered over two years ago on the Paramount Network, though it’s experienced a resurgence thanks to it newly being available on Netflix. With just six episodes, the series tells the true story of the 1993 FBI/ATF standoff with a religious community in Waco, Texas. The series stars Taylor Kitsch, as the cult-like leader, with Michael Shannon as an FBI negotiator, with an amazing supporting cast.
It’s a deeply upsetting series, from both the inner-workings of the commune, but also how the authorities handled the situation. With a horrific ending to the 51-day stand-off, this is a show that will certainly stick with you after.
Another miniseries courtesy of Netflix, this series is based on the 2012 autobiography Unorthodox: The Scandalous Rejection of My Hasidic Roots. It follows Esty, a 19-year-old woman who escapes from her unpleasant arranged marriage, traveling from her Orthodox community in NYC to Berlin. The series explores her exploration of the secular world and developing her own passions, all the while her husband tries to track her down.
The is an extremely eye-opening series into something I honestly knew nothing about. It exposes some scary realities of religions that still hold onto archaic traditions, and how these often times suppress the women within. Star Shira Haas gives an emotional performance that is so profound, that I truly would love an extension of the series to continue following her characters journey.
Defending Jacob (Apple TV+)
Another great addition to the Apple TV+ lineup, this miniseries, also based on a novel, stars Chris Evans, Michelle Dockery, and Jaeden Martell. It follows a 14-year-old boy accused of murder and how his parents cope with his arrest. As the investigation begins to unravel, we are left wondering if Jacob is in fact a killer, or just an innocent child in the wrong place at the wrong time.
With only three episodes to judge on, I’ll definitely say this show has hooked me. I am glad they released three episodes off the bat, as I felt you really needed to consume them in one sitting to get a solid narrative – it’s a show that is made for binge-culture. I’m eager to see how the remainder of the series unfolds.